I saw a disturbing article from one of my favorite millennial websites this week, entitled “Sorry, Ladies – If You Don’t Wear Makeup At Work, You’ll Get Paid Less Money”.
The article doesn’t cite its source, but with some digging I discovered the study, published in the June issue of Journal of Social Stratification and Mobility. The results were simple: Women who spend more time and more money on their hair and makeup often earn more money than women who go without makeup.
I could talk about the gender wage gap for days, and I’ll save that for later posts(s). But this wage gap is a specific form of discrimination against women – in fact, between women, based on attractiveness.
Our society demands that females be aesthetically pleasing. From birth, girls learn that their value is inherently connected to their weight, waistline, pant size and overall ability to be appealing to men.
This wage gap is the ultimate expression of this mandate. It literally demonstrates that your financial worth is less if you do not put an extra twenty, thirty, forty minutes in every single day for the sole purpose of looking attractive – no matter how intelligent or skilled you may be at your work.
Let me repeat that: your intelligence and skill level does not matter if you are ugly. The ultimate embodiment of the sexism, insecurity and body-shaming women are constantly inundated with.
Now let me be clear: makeup is a personal choice. I’m not shaming women who choose to wear makeup. But a woman should wear makeup because she likes it and she chooses to, not because she’s forced to demonstrate her value based on eye shadow.
This is all beside the fact that the average woman spends $15,000 on beauty products in her lifetime. A literal financial expense that no one should have to incur to earn a salary she is deserving of. (Worth mentioning: the global makeup industry, an industry entirely based on making women feel insecure, is worth an estimated $15 billion. This is a perfect example of where capitalism and sexism intersect, but I digress.)
And in case it needs to be said, there is no male equivalent for makeup. Therefore, there is no discrimination equivalent for makeup.
Oh and back to the original article from Post Grad Problems – thanks to the author for telling women to wear more makeup instead of telling employers to stop discriminating.